FTIR Gas Measurement in Home Smoke Alarm Tests

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.4224/20378749
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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleResearch Report, NRC Institute for Research in Construction; Volume 107
Physical description25 p.
SubjectFTIR, smoke detector, smoke alarm, toxic gases, fire detection; Smoke detection
AbstractThe National Research Council of Canada performed Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) gas measurements during fire detection experiments (Tests 1?14) in a manufactured home, as part of a joint study with several U.S. organisations and federal agencies to evaluate current requirements and technology of residential smoke detectors. The objectives were to identify toxic species (such as HCl, HCN, NOx, HBr and HF) produced from test fires and to quantify their concentrations for use in determination of the onset of untenable conditions. Fire scenarios included flaming and smouldering fires of a mattress in a bedroom, upholstered chair in the living area and cooking oil fires. The size, growth rate and duration of the test fires were closely controlled to create small, slow smouldering fires (1 to 2 hours) and short flaming fires (3 minutes or less). While these test fires provided the greatest challenge for smoke detectors to detect the fires early before becoming fully developed ones, the experiments were terminated well before reaching conditions that would produce a significant amount of toxic species. FTIR spectra collected during all these tests show spectral features from CO, CO2 and water vapour. FTIR spectra collected during the chair and mattress smouldering and cooking oil fires also show absorption characteristic of volatile hydrocarbon compounds. There was no apparent absorption from chemical species such as HCl, NOx, HBr and HF in the FTIR spectra. These chemical species were below the minimum detection limit of the FTIR spectrometer in this full-scale experimental set-up. HCN was only detected in Test 14 with an under-ventilated condition and its maximum concentration was 60 ppm. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were primary gas products produced in these fire detection tests.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number15027
NPARC number20378749
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Record identifier7edd0d10-8783-4684-8ce3-aaf03111b381
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-10-03
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